5 students file class-action suit against Globe University

You have to know the whole for-profit industry is watching this one. Maura Lerner of the Strib reports: “Five students have filed a class-action lawsuit against Globe University in Woodbury, accusing the for-profit school of misleading and manipulating prospective students and lying about its job placement rates and accreditation. The new allegations surfaced just two months after a former dean, Heidi Weber, won a $395,000 judgment against Globe in a whistleblower lawsuit over alleged ethical violations at the school. … One former student, Sarah Beck of Sioux Falls, S.D., said that when she enrolled, she was told that Globe was fully accredited and that its credits would transfer to any school or university. But she discovered the opposite when she graduated from its health care management program in 2010, with more than $41,000 in student loans.”

At MPR, Alex Friedrich, who has been following the case closely, writes: “In essence, the lawsuit claims the for-profit schools misled students about information such as job-placement rates, starting salaries, program accreditation and the transferability of the schools’ credits. The suit claims that many students leave the schools with worthless degrees but saddled with student loans. … The suit describes ‘an aggressive, boiler-room culture’ among recruiters, who ‘hound’ prospective students and mislead them. The system, it says, is designed to ‘enroll as many students as possible by any means so financial-aid profits flow to its pockets.’ Graduation rates range from 27 percent to 50 percent, it says — and less than that for low-income students — rates the suit calls ‘abysmal.’ ” Why do these lawyers want to crush the entrepreneurial spirit?

In Brett Neely’s MPR survey of our congressional delegation, he says: “As the federal government shutdown goes into day two, members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation remain at odds over what it will take to pass a bill to get the government funded again. … U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican who represents the 2nd District, said he would not vote for a clean bill. ‘We need the Senate to come to the table and negotiate,’ Kline said. ‘That’s what we’re trying to do.’ But there’s a problem with that argument. Senate Democrats have tried for months to open budget negotiations, but at every step Republicans have blocked such efforts, at times by using the filibuster, a tactic in which they insist on a supermajority of 60 votes to advance a bill.” The congressman might have thought he was back on the Davis & Emmer Show.

Add another one to the trail of bodies … Ryan Foley of the AP says: “An Iowa state senator resigned Wednesday after a special investigator found it likely he violated ethics rules by taking money from political entities connected to former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and then denying he’d done so. Sen. Kent Sorenson told The Associated Press that he had already decided he would not run for re-election, and that his resignation was best for his family. He said his decision was ‘absolutely not’ an admission of wrongdoing. … Before announcing his resignation, Sorenson said he disagreed with the report’s conclusions that he made false statements or that he had accepted compensation from Bachmann’s camp. ‘I was never employed by Michele Bachmann. I was never employed by Bachmann for President. I was never employed by the PAC,’ he said. ‘I had a corporation that worked for a corporation that worked for Michele Bachmann.”  We gotta remember that one for the Year’s Best Quotes.

Can lava lamps be far behind? MPR’s Tom Crann and Heavy Table’s James Norton discussed the revival of … tiki bars.
TOM CRANN: Why tiki, and why now?
JAMES NORTON: It’s not just why — it’s also how. Cocktail culture has risen apace with food and beer culture in the United States, and tiki is part of that culture. Underneath all the sugary fruit juice and rail booze there is a real spark of joy and love that powers the zombies and mai tais that populate the world of tiki. I think people are perpetually enchanted by it — it’s got a nostalgic sheen to it, and almost a lost innocence.” Cue John  Hiatt

The “finishing touches” are being applied. Richard Meryhew of the Strib says: “Attorneys representing the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Minnesota Vikings worked into the night Wednesday putting the finishing touches on lease and development agreements for the team’s new downtown Minneapolis stadium. The authority board, which is overseeing construction of the $975 million project, is expected to vote on the agreements at a 5 p.m. meeting Thursday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The use agreement, which is expected to bind the team to the new stadium for at least the next 30 years, will detail terms of the team’s lease with the authority. The development agreement will spell out the responsibilities of each side during construction, as well as outline the parameters for seat license fees — a one-time fee charged to season ticketholders for the right to reserve a seat.”

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“As we know it” is the key phrase. In a Strib commentary, Lawrence Perelman writes: “We’re far beyond the blame game, and I feel it is time for the Minnesota Orchestra to be taken off life support so it can rise in a different form. … Here’s how the musicians make history: Follow Maestro Vänskä’s lead and resign from the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Immediately announce the creation of the Minnesota Symphony, a self-governing orchestra modeled on the Vienna Philharmonic. Find a charitable organization to give temporary use of its tax status (while you establish a new nonprofit) so you can receive donations from foundations and corporations and from your audience. Govern yourselves, and assign responsibilities to yourselves. Make history by setting an example for other orchestras to follow, and end the labor-management paradigm that leads to these kinds of disputes.” He imagines the Orchestra’s current bosses giving them a sweetheart deal on hall rental.

Facebook exec and author Sheryl Sandberg was in town Wednesday. Adam Belz of the Strib attended and writes: “Sandberg said the progress of women in business, and particularly in technology, has flatlined. Men are more often rewarded for showing initiative, she said, women more often subtly punished. Both are guilty of harboring this bias, and the problem is powerfully self-perpetuating, said the author of ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,’ who has since launched a campaign encouraging women to be more ambitious and assertive. … While the number of jobs that require high-tech skills has grown dramatically over the past few decades, the share of women preparing for those jobs has plummeted. Thirty-seven percent of computing degrees went to women in 1985, compared with 18 percent in 2009, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology.”

The baby-slapper may have to do some time. Kate Brumback of the AP says: “Joe Rickey Hundley entered the guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. His trial had been set to start Thursday morning. Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy and then hit him under the right eye as the flight from Minneapolis began its descent to the Atlanta airport, authorities have said. The misdemeanor simple assault charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $100,000. Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of six months in prison, but Hundley reserved his right to argue for a lower sentence … The agreement also requires Hundley to enter a drug or alcohol treatment program and attend anger management classes. He told the judge he has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings almost daily since March and has already enrolled in an anger management class.” Yeah, right. Call us when you graduate.

Comments (18)

  1. Submitted by Lora Jones on 10/03/2013 - 07:52 am.

    So Kline won’t go for a clean CR yet

    I suppose you have to admire his arrogance, given that his margin of “victory” was cut in half between 2008 and 2012 after redistricting. I realize that, if you assume at least some of the republicans are sane, many of them are banking on low turnout, voter disenfranchisement, and a fired up base to carry them through the midterms. I’m just surprised that Kline is so sanguine when, rather obviously, Paulson is not.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/03/2013 - 08:13 am.

    “Corporations are people, my friend”

    Once again, a Republican wants to have it both ways.

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/03/2013 - 08:14 am.

    It’s ironic that this phrase

    …..U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican who represents the 2nd District, said he would not vote for a clean bill….

    Comes up in the same column about Globe College student suits.

    For profit colleges, including Globe, were the largest donaters to the Kline campaign. He’s been steadfastly fighting regulation and quality standards for the for-profit schools

    “Clean bill”, indeed!

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/03/2013 - 09:37 am.

      Kline is also on the front lines for the lenders of college…

      …loans, who are finally the main revenue source of the for-profit schools.

      He recently fought, again, for higher interest rates on those loans – “market based”, in Kline-speak, rather than a lower cap on those rates, which was the alternative. Even though the student loan rates were temporarily diverted from an immediate rate hike, that was going to happen anyway, due to political pressure.

      The real point of his advocacy was to preserve the opportunity for higher rates for the lenders in future – up to 8.5% for Stafford loans.

      He sold it as a program in the interest of students, but actually, he championed the cause of the lenders.

      Students should know that with friends like John Kline, who needs enemies ?? This is one DECEPTIVE man.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/03/2013 - 08:53 am.

    oh oh …

    “The suit claims that many students leave the schools with worthless degrees but saddled with student loans … Graduation rates range from 27 percent to 50 percent, it says – and less than that for low-income students – rates the suit calls ‘abysmal.’ ”

    Those are virtually the same graduation rates as the U.
    http://www.academic.umn.edu/accountability/reports/graduation_rates_tc.html

    And how many kids graduate from there with worthless degrees and huge debt?

    I’m not defending Globe University, believe me. I’m just saying we should be careful about what measures we call “abysmal” when it’s probably, and unfortunately, pretty common.

    • Submitted by Jim Camery on 10/03/2013 - 10:04 am.

      Big, big difference

      The U (and Macalaster, UMD, Gustavus, etc.) doesn’t advertise placement and graduation rates. Saying you do something and not doing it is a material fraud.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/03/2013 - 10:24 am.

      You make a fair point of comparison, but I don’t think…

      …the U. of MN uses hard-sell closing techniques on candidates, paying recruiters on commission for enrollments !! Also, the issues of accreditation and promises of future prosperity don’t really apply to the U.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/03/2013 - 10:54 am.

      The graduation rate increases to 56 57 percent on the 5th and 6th year of enrollment, respectively. I think there is a serious argument to make that increased tuition costs and increased living expenses put an extra burden on students, so that they must work more to pay for their college expenses, which in turn leads them to being in school for more than 4 years. The 4-year college experience is rapidly becoming the province of a bygone age.

    • Submitted by Chris Nelson on 10/03/2013 - 11:00 am.

      out of date?

      The charts on that link are from 1992 – 2000, so that is fairly old data. This document is slightly more current, but it’s a pdf so you have to dig into it a little. Figure 3-16 on page 35 shows the same sorts of information: http://www.academic.umn.edu/accountability/pdf/2012/2012_UMN_Accountability_Report.pdf

      If you don’t care to click through, here is the comparison:

      From the previous link, the most current complete data shown for the U of MN (Twin Cities) is from 1998, showing a 4-year graduation rate of 28.9%, a 5-year rate of 50.4%, and a 6-year rate of 56.9%.

      From the more recent pdf, the data is from 2006, showing a 4-year graduation rate of 50.5%, a 5-year rate of 69.2%, and a 6-year rate of 72.9%.

      So: A pretty dramatic improvement for the U of MN in 8 years, and it makes a much more clear separation above the Globe range of 27-50% graduation rates.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/03/2013 - 12:18 pm.

      It’s not just the graduation rate, it’s that the credits obtained at Globe do not transfer to other colleges–meaning that time spent at Globe is a dead end in terms of further education.

  5. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/03/2013 - 10:12 am.

    Congressman Kline is not the only one who

    should be very embarrassed by what is going on at Globe.

    High on that list should be Dr. David Metzen who is the provost at Globe. Followers of the Minnesota education scene will recall that Dr. Metzen was a member of the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota and even served as chairman of the board and unofficial regent for athletics.

    Dr. Metzen also served in the Pawlenty administration as director of the state’s office of higher education. There Dr. Metzen served as an evangelist for higher graduation rates:

    … 55 percent shouldn’t be its aim, said David Metzen, director of the state’s Office of Higher Education.

    It should be 70 percent — “minimum.”

    “If Minnesota is going to be a leader, we’re going to have to do better than the national average,” he said, pointing out that an educated population boosts a strong economy.

    link: http://bit.ly/17wL40I

    I hope that Dr. Metzen is well paid at Globe. At least thirty pieces of silver.

    William B. Gleason
    faculty member and U of M alum

  6. Submitted by Jeffrey Jerde on 10/03/2013 - 10:19 am.

    Globe U

    Didn’t I just see a TV spot for Globe that suggests we leave the stuffy books behind? Apparently books keep people from gaining a higher education?

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/03/2013 - 11:27 am.

      Actually

      The total cost of a student’s education could be reduced dramatically if they allowed to skip the dead tree version of their textbooks and simply download PDF versions of the required readings. But that wont happen at Huge U because professors make a lot of money forcing kids to pay hundreds of dollars (in some cases) for their texts.

      • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/03/2013 - 11:56 am.

        Actually

        School books are not part of tuition costs. The professors employed by the U also do not ‘force’ their students to purchase expensive textbooks, and the high cost is at least in part caused by the heavy monopoly within the textbook industry in general. When I was in college, I would always try to purchase my textbooks secondhand from upperclassmen to save money.

        While you do like to rail against the U, you had no problem (assuming this is you) taking their money: http://www.dennistester.com/clients.htm

        It would seem that your political convictions only go as far as your wallet?

      • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/03/2013 - 12:15 pm.

        Wake up to the new world Mr. Tester!!

        As every college student knows, most college texts are e-versions, and they cost almost as much as the dead tree version (ever paid a couple hundred dollars for a download??).

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/03/2013 - 11:25 am.

    Graduation

    Mr. Tester has a point, embarrassing though it might be for the U.

    Mr. Camery also has a point, embarrassing (or fraudulent) though it might be for “for-profit” institutions.

    I might add that the closer public institutions like the U drift toward the corporate model, as has demonstrably been the case over the past couple of decades, the higher the likelihood that they’ve opened themselves to the same criticism as is directed toward Globe. Mr. Tester’s comment seems a case in point.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/03/2013 - 12:25 pm.

      The point is that the credits earned at the U have permanent value of education achievement years and are accepted at virtually every other educational institution when and if the student decides to return to school for a degree.

      The credits earned at Globe are not accepted at other schools because Globe doesn’t have real accreditation. A degree (or even a transcript) from Globe is far more dubious than from the U of MN or Normandale or any other college like that.

      Big difference.

  8. Submitted by Richard O on 10/03/2013 - 02:04 pm.

    ” ‘I had a corporation that worked for a corporation that…’ “

    For excuses it beats, “The devil made me do it.” But maybe not.

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